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If you want to work on healthy relationships, here are some basic approaches that can help.

First, learn where this behavior comes from. The more you understand your own feelings and needs, the more you can address them in a healthy way. If you feel like you’re struggling with this please remember there’s no shame in seeking the help of a professional.

WORK ON ACTIVE LISTENING: When someone tries to approach you with something important to them, you should be deliberate in your listening. Give them your attention and avoid interrupting. Paraphrase what they’re saying back to them, so you can make sure you’re on the same page. And feel free to ask questions if you’re confused. The more you can understand what they’re feeling, the easier it will be for the both of you to work towards a solution. At the very least, you’re showing them that you respect what they have to say.

SELF-CARE AND MINDFULNESS: Changing a specific behavior may be a change for the better, but the things we do stem from our beliefs and our feelings. Try to show yourself that same dedication towards understanding that you would show your partner.

CALL TO ACTION: What did you find helpful while working through toxic behavior in a relationship? Reflect and share with us on social media using #EngageUplift.

Engage by Uplift tackles the difficult issues surrounding sexual abuse that the YouTube and online communities face. We're starting real talk for real change.

Each week, our host Kat Lazo discusses abuse and how it manifests in virtual spaces. Watch and collaborate with us through weekly calls to action, and join in with some of your favorite YouTubers as they consider the issues in round table discussions.

Hosted by Kat Lazo: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheeKatsMeoww

Directed & Written by Kelly Kend: http://kellykend.com/

Real talk for Real Change. #EngageUplift
Subscribe to our channel to get updates!

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Kat: Hey everyone! I'm Kat Lazo of TheeKatsMeoww, and welcome to another episode of Engage by Uplift, a web series aimed at having real talk for real change when it comes to sexual assault.

This week, our topic is how to check yourself. Basically, confronting and dealing with our own toxic behavior. And by toxic, we mean behavior that isn't necessarily abusive, but is still unhealthy. And if left to fester, it can become abusive down the line.

Anyone can perpetuate toxic behavior, and most people probably will at one point or another. Confronting this behavior is never easy, but taking responsibility for our own actions makes us better people. And it can even break cycles of abuse. So, here are some guidelines on recognizing when toxic behavior is occurring in our relationships.

Signs of Toxic Behavior

A healthy relationship needs balance. Are you constantly asking your partner to make changes for you, but don't offer anything in return? Do most fights seem to end with them apologizing to you, regardless of how it started? Oftentimes, toxic behavior comes about when someone is so focused on themselves they don't realize they're hurting someone close to them. Refusing to talk things through with your partner or work towards a compromise creates a toxic dynamic.

Issuing ultimatums or all-or-nothing statements, like: "If you don't do what I say, then you don't really love me," are definitely toxic. Putting your partner in a situation where they aren't allowed to tell you how they feel, then nothing healthy can grow. Agreeing to change or to compromise is good, but you have to take a step back and look at whether or not you're actually following through.

Occasional slip ups and personal circumstances happen. But if there's a pattern of you agreeing to something in your relationship and then not holding your end, not only will things not change, but they might actually get worse.

Really quick: it's time for this week's call to action. Have you been able to overcome toxic behavior in a relationship? What did you find helpful while working through it? If you feel comfortable sharing it, we'd love to hear it. Just please remember to respect the privacy of others involved. So as always, feel free to share it in the comments down below, or on social media using the hashtag #EngageUplift.

Being Called Out On Toxicity

Being called out sucks. It can make you feel defensive, embarrassed, or attacked. Here are some things to keep in mind if someone close to you tells you that they feel your behavior is unhealthy.

Sometimes people think that relationships are supposed to be effortlessly perfect. But unfortunately, this isn't realistic. If your partner is reaching out to you to work on your relationship, then it usually means that they want to work with you on keeping a healthy relationship so that it can last longer. Try to approach this as an opportunity for growth, and not a sign of failure.

If you put a frog in a pot of boiling water, it's going to jump out. But if you put a frog into a pot of room temperature water and slowly bring it to a boil, that frog is gonna stay in that pot until it dies. [Whine], poor frog! Ribbit! Ribbit! Understand that just like that water, toxic behavior can wear someone down over time. And the realization of it can be gradual. Just because they haven't said anything til now, doesn't mean that it hasn't been hurting them.

Defensiveness is totally normal, but it can also cloud your judgment. If you really feel emotional, try walking away for just a few minutes and then come back when you feel calmer. If you react to your partner by making personal attacks and lashing out on them, they might lash back, and you might find yourself in a screaming match.

Or, if you collapse in a sobbing heap, they might take back everything they said and apologize in that moment, just to please you. Either way, the problem that they brought up is still a problem. The only difference now is that they don't feel like they can talk to you about it. Try to give them that chance.

Working Towards Being Healthy

After learning that someone close to you feels that things are becoming unhealthy for them, the next step is to talk to them, and work toward a healthier relationship. There isn't one way to do this; different people in different situations require different solutions. But there are some resources in our description box down below that could provide some help. Don't be discouraged.

If you're having a hard time with it, know that that's normal, and don't give up. You're in the process of growing towards a better emotional health, and not just flicking a switch. These things take time.

It may not be easy, and it may not be comfortable, but it's absolutely worth it. Alright, that's it for this week. Thank you so much for watching.

Don't forget to answer our call to action, either on social media using the hashtag #EngageUplift, or in the comments down below. And while you're down there, why not give this video a thumbs up and subscribe?! Why not? For more information on Uplift and any and all resources in this video, make sure to check out the description box down below. And as always, I'm Kat Lazo of TheeKatsMeoww. Til next time!